Jason Klemp, lawn care manager at Barcellos and Kane Landscape Management in Hingham, Mass., says late summer and early fall are the best times for seeding a lawn.
The grass doesn’t have to be greener on the other side of the fence.
Learning about the types of grass seed can help you grow a luscious lawn that will make your neighbors green with envy.
With cooler temperatures and more rain, late summer and early fall are the best times for seeding a lawn, said Jason Klemp, lawn care manager at Barcellos and Kane Landscape Management in Hingham, Mass.
There are three main types of seed: Kentucky bluegrass, rye and fescue.
Bluegrass is perhaps the most desirable kind of grass, Klemp said. It’s the type of grass grown at Fenway Park.
The rich blue hue and hardiness of bluegrass make it aesthetically pleasing and practical.
“An athletic field mix is an excellent choice for a family,” said Lee Doucette, sales associate for South Shore Loam and Mulch. “It’s made to be used, not just viewed.”
Bluegrass is great for sunny spots, Klemp said, and takes an average of 21 to 31 days to grow.
Rye, which is lighter and greener, is another good choice for lawns that get a lot of sun. Rye is the fastest-growing grass, averaging 7 to 10 days, Klemp said.
Because it comes in quickly, rye is often mixed with other types of seed; it provides shelter from sun and foot traffic as slower-growing grass, like fescue, comes in.
Klemp recommends perennial rye over annual rye, which often allows weeds and tends to die off quickly.
Fescue takes about 30 to 40 days to grow. While it is the slowest-growing grass, it is the best option for sandy soil, Klemp said.
Fescue is great for shady lawns or for areas with a lot of pine needles, Klemp said, because it can handle high levels of acidity.
If not watered properly, fescue can grow in clumps, leaving space for weeds to creep in.
Fescue attracts the least number of insects, while bluegrass tends to attract the most, Klemp said.
The different types of grass seed cost about the same, said Doucette. A 10-pound bag can cost $24, a 25-pound bag $54 and a 50-pound bag $106.
Ashlee Fairey may be reached at email@example.com.
Ways to seed your lawn:
By hand: For smaller areas, remove the dead grass, roughen the soil with a rake and sprinkle a thin layer of seed evenly across the soil.
Slice seeding: A machine slices the ground and deposits seed into the soil at a quarter inch to a half inch deep, and one inch apart. This is good for new lawns or a new type of seed, lawn renovation or lawn thickening.
Lawn aeration: A machine removes plugs from the soil, allowing water, fertilizer and oxygen to be absorbed faster. This minimizes dead grass and soil compaction, while improving durability, appearance and drainage.
Hydroseeding: Water, seed, fertilizer and a protective recycled paper or wood mulch are mixed in a tank and sprayed onto the soil. This helps seal in moisture and increase the growth rate.
Sources: www.hydroseedingexperts.com; www.allislandlandscape.com.